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VIRATEK REPORTS SECOND QUARTER RESULTS; INCREASES RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

 COSTA MESA, Calif., Aug. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Viratek Inc. (AMEX: VRA, VRA.WS) said today that stepped up research and development spending to support clinical trials with its antiviral drug Virazole (ribavirin) against chronic active hepatitis C and other research programs significantly increased research and development spending in the second quarter over the same quarter last year.
 While revenues doubled quarter to quarter -- $540,000 in the second quarter of 1993 from $265,000 in the same period last year -- research and development expenditures of $1.4 million in the second quarter of 1993 resulted in a loss for the quarter of $1.1 million, or 7 cents per share, compared to net income of $152,000, or 1 cent per share, in the second quarter of 1992.
 Viratek, which is also funding research on new anticancer pharmaceuticals and biomedical products, recently announced it has initiated a pharmaceutical discovery program developing therapeutic drugs to inhibit disease-causing genes. This research activity, which will involve 15 new scientists, is based on antisense technology and is focused on designing new pharmaceuticals to combat cancer, viral diseases and skin disorders. The effort will be headed by Wilfried Eckehart Seifert, Ph.D., former head of the laboratory for Molecular Neurobiology at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen, Germany.
 Second quarter revenues were higher because of increased sales in Mexico resulting from greater medical acceptance of Virazole, including Virazole creme, which was recently introduced for the treatment of herpes zoster and herpes genitalis. Viratek holds the patent to Virazole and receives revenues from SPI Pharmaceuticals Inc., which manufactures, markets and distributes the product.
 For the first six months of 1993, Viratek revenues were $2 million and research and development spending totaled $2.3 million, resulting in a loss of $822,000, or 5 cents per share, for this period. This compared to revenues of $2.3 million, in the first six months of 1992 with net income of $1.5 million, or 11 cents per share, because of significantly less research and development spending in 1992.
 At the end of the second quarter of 1993, Viratek had $19 million in cash and receivables from affiliates.
 Viratek specializes in the development and licensing of new pharmaceutical compounds from nucleic acid research as well as biomedical research.
 VIRATEK INC.
 Summary Financial Information
 For the Three and Six Months Ended June 30, 1993 and 1992
 (000s omitted except per share amounts)
 (Unaudited)
 Three months ended Six months ended
 June 30, June 30,
 1993 1992 1993 1992
 Total revenues $540 $265 $1,984 $2,258
 Research and development 1,359 55 2,298 385
 Net income (loss) ($1,109) $152 ($822) $1,540
 Per share information:
 Net income (loss) ($0.07) $0.01 ($0.05) $0.11
 Shares used in per share
 computation 15,862 14,507 15,456 14,541
 -0- 8/6/93
 /CONTACT: Jack Sholl of Viratek, 714-545-0100, ext. 3013/
 (VIRA)


CO: Viratek Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU: ERN

LM-MF -- LA015 -- 0401 08/06/93 16:06 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 6, 1993
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